Sunday, November 09, 2008

Seven percent

According to CNN's exit polls, 10% of the 2,240 respondents who voted on Proposition 8 were "African-American". 70% of those people voted yes on Proposition 8. Which means that 7% of the respondents who voted yes on Proposition 8 were black. Conversely, 93% of the respondents who voted yes on Proposition 8 were not black. 93%. And yet, black people are getting most of the blame.

Using the same data and method of calculation, here are some more statistics: Of the respondents who voted Yes on Proposition 8,

  • 19% were white Republicans
  • 25% were conservatives
  • 25% approved of the war in Iraq
  • 27% attended church weekly
  • 30% voted for Bush in 2004
  • 32% voted for McCain in 2008
  • 37% were married

But it's still the black people's fault because . . . ?

Here's what Renee has to say about the situation: Black Friendly When We Need You, Womanist Musings via Feministe.

When other so-called justice programs needs us, they remind us of the ways in which we are marginalized and attempt to point out that their exclusion is the same. You know what I'm talking about, the "it's just like Rosa Parks line." This often makes me want to ask, really are you sure? It seems that white people have a history of knowing what blacks go thorough on a daily basis when it is convenient for them to admit the ways in which they discriminate against POC. When they want something from us, like a vote on a bill, organizing help, or even a gopher to make coffee they suddenly are so understanding of what blacks are dealing with.

The rest of the time we get told about how equal the world is; yes the wonderful post racial world that we have been informed that we are all living in. With the election of Obama we have even been flatly told that we have no excuses left for being at the bottom of the race and class hierarchy. White people have been decent enough to put aside their racial hatred and therefore blacks should just buck up and deal with the high level of incarceration, bad schools, inequity in employment, etc and etc., It's socially unacceptable to say nigger today, as that is the mark of a bigot; however the other ways in which blacks are disenfranchised are socially deemed a figment of our collective imaginations.

It seems it does not matter what the social movement is, as long as it is represented by white people, POC are ignored until needed. If you look at the advertising campaigns, or organizing patterns for gay rights, fat phobia, animal rights, and feminism, all have a tendency to ignore POC. Our specific interests within the movements are ignored in order to present a white image to the world. Somehow the idea that whites are facing discrimination is supposed to make the world stand up and take notice, yet the idea that blacks may be dealing with multiple areas of stigmatizations at the same time is unimportant . . .

. . . As I am watching the backlash from the GLBT community regarding PROP 8, I am filled with so much anger and sadness. Where is the angst for the white voters who supported PROP 8? The GLBT community spent no time in black churches, community centres or neighbourhoods and yet they expected to be supported. You cannot call upon us for convenience sake, and then shove us back into the closet (yes intentional choice of words) when we are no longer needed.

A gay black man or woman irregardless of race is still gay and some white members have turned this into a hostile movement for them. Where is the sense of community in this? What these organizers fail to realize is that they have precious little connection with POC [People of Color] to begin with, and if they begin with the racist taunts they will alienate the few supporters that they already have. This is a time when they need to be reaching out to POC to make a bridge that they never attempted to build in the first place, and yet descending into racial politics is the route that has been chosen. This is a myopic policy that will only serve to push gay rights even further back . . .

I hear that, dude.


1 comment:

Renee said...

Thanks for the link, but I must say that this whole issue has been so terribly troubling to me. As an ally who stands outside looking in I feel so alienated by a movement that I have worked on behalf of and openly advocated for.